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Updated by Adam C. Rieth, P.L.L.C. on May 29, 2017
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5 Reasons You Need a Will

The old saying goes, “where there’s a will; there’s a way” and it’s never truer than when it comes to having your final wishes followed. You can say that your daughter knows that you want your niece to have the breakfront from her grandmother’s home. But, without a will, your niece may never see the breakfront. A will protects you and your heirs – they inherit according to your wishes. Here are 5 reasons you need a will.


You can provide for your Minor Children:

You can provide for your Minor Children:

Your sister may seem like the logical person to raise your children. She has a family of her own and looks like a great mother to the courts. But, you may know that you and your sister have big differences of opinion on child-rearing and you know she’s already stressed to the max. You want your brother and his wife to raise your children, even though they don’t have children of their own. You’ve talked about it and they’ve agreed. You think it’s all set. Without a will, the court will be making that decision. Your sister may end up as the person chosen. Additionally, arguing about who will raise the kids may have created a big breach between your sister and brother. Wouldn’t it be better if you had made your wishes known legally?


You want to leave Money to your Favorite Charity:

Or, you want to leave a bequest to your church. You might just want to provide for your beloved pet. Sorry, the State isn’t going to recognize those wishes unless you’ve put them in a legal will. If you have special bequests that go beyond the way your State designates heirs, it just isn’t going to happen.


You choose the Executor:

It should be your right to choose. Is there a trusted relative who can serve as the executor of your estate? Is there a professional you are willing to pay from your estate because you completely trust him or her? Without a legal will, the State is going to play that role – and, probably charge you a fee. Additionally, with a will your estate is likely to settle faster. You can save time and money and have the person you want in charge.


You Decide!

And, your wishes are followed. If you want certain people to receive certain assets or goods, put it in a will. You may want to provide for a grandchild’s education. Or, there may be someone who would inherit under the guidelines of the state (for example, the spouse you separated from but never legally divorced) that you don’t want to get a single penny. A will lets you have it your way and distribute your assets in the manner you choose.


You can change your Mind:

If the reason you haven’t made a will is that you aren’t sure of every detail, relax. A will isn’t an unchangeable document set in stone. It can be changed. It’s called a codicil and you can execute one every time your circumstances change or you change your mind. You protect your wishes – even your changing wishes.